A 504 Plan is a legal document falling under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is designed to provide services to assist students with special needs who are in a regular education setting.

Who qualifies for a 504 Plan?

A student with a physical or emotional disability recovering from chemical dependency, or who has an impairment that restricts one or more major life activities, including learning. A student is referred by a teacher, support staff, parent, physician, therapist or even the patient themselves. A 504 Plan meeting is held, where a plan is developed and review date is set to evaluate the effectiveness of the 504 Plan.

What accommodations are included in the 504 Plan?

  • A child may have a special seat assignment
  • A child may be permitted to eat in the classroom
  • A child may be permitted extra time for a test
  • A child may be permitted rest breaks

Who is responsible for implementing the 504 Plan?

Depending on the chosen accommodation, different members of the team may be responsible for implementing the 504 Plan. The teacher may implement some of the accommodations, while you and your child may implement another.

How is a 504 Plan different from an IEP?

A 504 Plan services more children. A child must fall into one of 13 categories to qualify for an IEP. Under section 504, the meaning of disability is broader. A child qualifies if they have any physical or mental condition that seriously limits a “major life activity.” This means taking care of yourself, walking, seeing, hearing or speaking. It also means breathing, learning and working. A 504 Plan requires the school to change the way they usually do things in order to assist the student with disability.